Vegetable Stew with Lentils and Beans

020613-vegetable bean stew

Serves 6 to 8

One of the best ways to fight inflammation is with nutritious vegetable- and bean-rich fare. This delicious stew is perfect for a warming winter meal. And hold on to those leftovers! The flavor of the stew is even better the following day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and inspected for foreign material
  • 1 20-ounce can crushed tomatoes (organic or salt-free)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 15-ounce can white or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sea salt (or lite salt) and black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil.

2. Cook onions until just beginning to turn transparent.

3. Add garlic, red peppers, and carrots, and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Stir in zucchini.

5. Add spices, and mix thoroughly.

6. Stir in lentils, tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer.

7. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. You may need to add extra liquid, such as 1 cup of stock or water.

8. When lentils are tender, stir in beans and cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.

9. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with a mixed green salad and whole-grain crackers or bread.

 

Nutritional information per serving: 152 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 26 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 8 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 136 mg sodium, 4 g sugar (values calculated for 8 servings, not including additional salt and pepper to taste)

Note: Nutritional values are estimates only and may vary according to freshness of ingredients, methods of preparation, and other factors.

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